Senator Mike Duffy stresses the need for reliable internet in rural P.E.I.

Senator Mike Duffy stresses the need for reliable internet in rural P.E.I.

P.E.I. senator Mike Duffy is reminding his colleagues in Ottawa and Canadian companies about the pressing need for high-speed internet service in rural and remote parts of the country.

Reliable internet essential

Duffy also said Wednesday in the Senate that the deadline for internet service providers to apply for funding for the Connect to Innovate program has been extended to April 20.

"Access to reliable high-speed internet is not a luxury, it is essential for both business and leisure," Duffy said.

Originally internet companies had until March 17 to apply for funding to provide broadband internet service to remote and rural communities. The federal government plans to provide $500 million for the program by 2021.

Duffy said he met with rural P.E.I. small business leaders, owners and tourism operators last week. Although they indicated 2016 was a good year for business, they also said they would not be able to grow their businesses without high-speed internet.

"This program will support new backbone infrastructure and, most important to rural P.E.I., last-mile infrastructure to households and businesses," he said.

- MORE P.E.I. NEWS | Restaurant association expects strong growth for P.E.I. again in 2017

- MORE P.E.I. NEWS | P.E.I. beaches full of tardigrades, and that's a good thing